Standing atop a steep sandstone bluff overlooking a broad expanse of central Montana’s still-wild Missouri River, it’s not hard to understand why the journals of Lewis and Clark’s Corps Of Discovery are filled with entries that convey a sense of wonder:
“This senery already rich, pleasing, and beatiful was still farther hightened by immence herds of buffaloe, deer, elk and antelopes which we saw in every direction.”
— Merriwether Lewis, September 17, 1804
To put these wide-eyed moments into perspective, you have to remember that the vast swath of land known as the Louisiana Purchase was little more than a blank spot on the map when Merriwether Lewis and William Clark set off from St. Louis on May 14th, 1804. Fast forward 200 years or so and you’ll find that much of the landscape Lewis and Clark traveled through on their 8,000-mile journey remains largely unchanged.
- Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures offers three-day canoe trips on portions of the Missouri River that can be combined with hiking or mountain biking extensions along portions of the historic Lolo Trail traveled by the Corps of Discovery. Some departures are also accompanied by noted Lewis and Clark experts including Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, author of The Lewis and Clark Companion: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Voyage of Discovery.
- Shebby Lee Tours has put together a 15-night motorcoach tour that covers the Lewis and Clark expedition’s entire route, from the Corps Of Discovery’s starting point on the banks of the Mississippi River all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
- Odyssey Tours offers an eight-night canoeing and hiking exploration of Montana’s White Cliffs of the Missouri River and the Bitterroot Mountains that includes camping at actual Corps Of Discovery campsites, special insights from Lewis and Clark historian Clay Jenkinson, and a special evening visit with a costumed Merriwether Lewis reenactor.
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